5 week-old chicks--blood in box and in feces

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by madornato, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. madornato

    madornato Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Newnan, GA
    Let me explain. I lost several chicks in my new "flock" before realizing that they had mites. I never knew to check for such a thing, especially in chicks who had never been out of doors. The last chick that died over a week ago was covered in mites, and when I looked at the others, they were covered in mites, too. I am assuming that is what killed them. I treated them, a little over a week ago, very carefully, and their boxes, with sevin dust. I have checked them every day for mites, and the mites are gone. However, before discovering the mites, I had noticed some blood in some of the feces of the chicks. I was thinking coccidiosis (but they had been fed on medicated starter) or maybe necrotic enteritis. So, I treated them with antibiotics for a few days, but I still lost a couple of chicks after that. I have been giving some vitamin/electrolyte mixed in with their water, not every day but about every other day since the treatment. However, I continue to see some blood in some of their feces and in the last couple of days, I have found some bloody spots (more like splotches) in their boxes that are not in the feces. I have examined the birds carefully--no pecking injuries or anything like that. Would they still be experiencing some health problems from the mite infestation? A couple of the birds seem to have stunted growth, possibly, as a result of the mite infestation. I have spent so much time on the internet trying to figure this out. I want to integrate these birds in my henhouse outside in a couple of weeks with my other chickens, but I am afraid to unless I figure this out. Is blood in the stool of chickens ever normal? Also, please let me know if any of you have any idea as to what is going on with my birds. They all look (except the two with stunted growth) and act normal. They are all eating and drinking normally. Also, if anyone has any idea as to how to properly mix the Durvet brand of vitamin/electrolyte mix with water in chick waterers, please let me know. I have been guessing/estimating so far. Should I continue to give them the vitamins/electrolyte? Other than that they are just being given medicated starter/grower and water. Any input will be greatly appreciated. I'm sorry this explanation is SO long. I thought this was all important info.
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    All they need is clean clear water after finishing courses of drugs. You mention antibiotic... what kind? Cocci is NOT a bacteria, so if you didn't give a coccidositant, you may have done more harm than good by killing off the 99% of the essential bacteria in their bodies to digest food.

    The mites probably made them weak and thus susceptable to cocci. The medication in the feed is often just a thamine blocker meaning it doesn't kill, it just prevents the cocci protozoa from reproducing. So if there was some in them anyways, and mites made them weak, they could have gotten sick from it.

    Keep an eye on them, and if they do keep having blood in their stools, not normal, I'd suggest taking a fecal sample to a vet or someone who can figure out what kinds of paracites they do have so they can be treated accordingly as not all drugs work on all things.

    Best of luck.
     
  3. madornato

    madornato Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Newnan, GA
    Would it be harmful to the chicks if I gave them a coccidositant to be on the safe side? I don't know where to take a fecal sample to have it analyzed. I guess I can contact the county extension service to see if they know someone. How long does it take to run such a sample--to get the results?

    Thanks again.
     
  4. Eggs4Sale

    Eggs4Sale Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2009
    The chicks are 5 weeks old, correct? Or are there 5 of them and they're a week old?

    How many are there?
     
  5. madornato

    madornato Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Newnan, GA
    There are 14 chicks that are 5 weeks old. I have them split into 3 different boxes because of their size. It is still impossible for me to tell who has been passing the blood and bloody stool because there are no signs on the chicks themselves and they all act the same. I have not caught one in the act yet. Whatever I decide to do, I'll treat them all.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Your dog and cat vet can run a fecal sample in a day. Same procedure as all they do is literally put the sample in a liquid and stick a slide to the top to see if there is life or lack there of.

    Ideally, you don't want to give drugs in case, or just because, because organisms can gain resistance to drugs easily, even if there are no direct side effects on the chicks.

    If the birds are up and running around happily and eating, don't worry about it. Cocci will present with lethargic chicks before bloody stools. Are you sure you are seeing blood and not cecal poo/intestinal sheding/red treats coming out?
     
  7. Eggs4Sale

    Eggs4Sale Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2009
    May I ask, did you get them from a hatchery, feed store, or a person? If a person, do you KNOW the person?

    What are your long-term intentions with these chickens? Do you want them for eating, eggs, showing, breeding, or just looking at?

    I don't know where to take samples, I've never done it. But yes, call the ag office in the morning.
     
  8. madornato

    madornato Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Newnan, GA
    Regarding the queston, "Are you sure you are seeing blood and not cecal poo/intestinal sheding/red treats coming out?"--I have never heard of these. I am new to raising chickens, so please forgive my ignorance. I do not give my 5-wk old chicks any treats, so the red color could not be from that. What does the cecal poo/intestinal sheding look like? My birds have, since about 3 days old or so, passed, every 2 or 3 days or so, what looks like blood in their poop--that poop is usually runnier than the norm. However, in the last couple of days I have seen actual blood spots/splotches in their boxes that are not in the poop. I am very concerned. I just called my vet's office, and they do run the parasite chicken fecal test. So, assuming I can get a good sample, I should know something by the end of the day. I'll let you know.

    As far as to where I got these birds from and what my intentions are for them--I got some of them from a backyard breeder. He does it for fun. I got a few older birds from him as well that are in a coop outside. They seem to be doing fine. The others came from a chicken farm which the owner says has some type of certification. I forgot to write down what. I don't know if it matters or not, but the first chick that died came from the chicken farm and died several days before another one did. We got the chickens to raise for egg laying and for pets, as such, and also for breeding if we decide to. We may end up eating a few of the dual purpose birds if we have too many roosters--unless we decide to sell them instead.

    I appreciate all of the help and information that you guys are giving me.
     
  9. madornato

    madornato Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Newnan, GA
    Hi. The verdict is in--the vet called and said that there was a significant amount of coccidia in the feces sample I took in. I will have to treat them for 2 weeks with a medication that is mixed in with their water. Do any of you have any experience with coccidiosis? He said that I might periodically have to treat my birds again. How will that affect us being able to collect and eat the eggs that they lay (when they start laying)? Besides, I don't want to have to keep medicating my birds. One reason I bought them was so that we could have organic eggs. Thanks.
     
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    That's great you were able to get a diagnosis!

    Cecal poo is a poo that comes out smelling like a honey bucket in the summer and looking like melted chocolate instead of that little pile with a white cap. The shedings can be little pinkish tissue like things that very occasionally come out.

    Cocci is a easily treatable thing. Everyone gets it sooner or later. Since you got them from a BYB, and a "farmer", likely they were infected when you got them and the stress of the move caused them to drop their defenses against the protozoa. As they grow up, they should build an immunity to the cocci parasite and not get sick any more.

    If you are using amprolium to treat, it is safe for you as it is only a thiamine blocker. If you are using a sulfa based drug, like sulmet/corroid, then you only really need to worry if you are allergic to the drugs yourself. Otherwise, give them a 2 week withdraw period.

    The key part to preventing infestations of parasites is to keep the litter dry and keep feed/water off the ground so they peck less at where the oocytes often thrive. Also giving them lots of space to reduce stress will help immensely because their immune systems can run at their highest. At 5 weeks old, unless you are under snow, they should be about ready to go outside to their coop, perhaps with a heat lamp if it's too cold.

    Good luck!
     

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